This month we have a special holiday season edition of The Healthy Path from Stephanie Dang, fourth year dietetics student at the University of British Columbia and contributor to the Healthy UBC Recipe Series . Read on to see how Stephanie’s Surviving the Holidays tips can help you avoid the trap of excess holiday indulgence, while also picking up some information on valuable resources available to support you at UBC.
Surviving the Holidays!
The Holidays are fast approaching, which means the days of endless treats, dinner parties, and drinking are also fast approaching. Worried about overindulging during the holidays? Read these tips to try to keep on track with your health goals this year.
Healthy Eating Strategies
- Don’t skip meals before a party – this will make it easier to control your appetite
- Fill your plate with veggies, fruit, lean meat, and seafood
- Make your calories count! Remember, half the portion is half the calories and fat
- Before going for seconds, try to wait at least 15 minutes to see if you are still hungry
- Bring some gum for you to chew on after you have eaten dinner. This will help prevent you from over-snacking the rest of the night
- If you do indulge, make sure it is a food you truly enjoy
- Just say No! Practice polite, but firm ways to say “no thank you” to unnecessary, high calorie foods
- Focus on family and friends instead of food
- Bring your own healthy dish to dinner parties to you can be sure there will be something for you to nibble on
- The occasional indulgence is good for the soul, as long as you keep in mind your bigger health goals this season
- Half a glass of low-fat eggnog and half a glass of skim milk instead of a full glass of eggnog
- Alternate each alcoholic beverage or pop with a glass of water or sparkling water
- Try fresh fruit drizzled with melted chocolate instead of pie or cake
- When eating pie or tarts, avoid eating the crust to save calories
- Make a wine spritzer using soda water instead of having a full glass of wine
- Shrimp and cocktail sauce or sushi rolls instead of sausage rolls
Healthy Eating @UBC
If you are interested in improving your nutrition, the following resources and services available to UBC staff and faculty through Homewood Health, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider:
- Nutrition Resource Kit: The kit contains useful information on making healthy food choices, as well as delicious healthy recipes for you and your family to try. Nutritional Counseling, 30-Day Nutrition Challenge and 12 Weeks to Wellness Program are services delivered over the telephone. Call Homewood Health at 1-800-663-1142 to sign up.
- Nutritional Counseling: a registered dietician will conduct an assessment of your dietary needs and work with you to develop personalized food plans, provide nutritional information and ‘how-to’ advice and coaching.
- 12 Weeks to Wellness: a self-directed program that offers a comprehensive approach to behaviour change. You will have access to life coaching, nutritional counselling, and health risk assessment over a 12-week period
Stephanie Dang is a fourth year dietetics student at the University of British Columbia. When she is not busy studying, Stephanie volunteers at the eating disorder clinic at Children’s Hospital, works at a local bar, and plays soccer. Stephanie believes that living “healthy” means enjoying everything in moderation, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Staying physically active and satisfying your body’s nutritional needs shouldn’t be considered a burden, and if it is, seeing a dietitian is a great way to get advice on how to enjoy healthy living!